Generally, JAVA/J2EE applications are extensive and consist of multiple components ranging from front-end interface to back-end database. Automated testing is preferable over manual testing for such vast applications due to the time and effort saved. Automated testing is usually carried out using tools and frameworks.
A JAVA/J2EE application comprises various components; for more details, please refer to part 1 of this series titled “Overview of JAVA applications“.
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Automated testing can be performed using either a single tool or a combination of tools for each JAVA component. It’s important to note that complete automation of application testing may not be feasible. The decision to automate depends on the application’s size, complexity, and the preferences of developers, testers, and architects. Incorporating testing considerations during application development facilitates smoother processes for the team and ensures the delivery of a high-quality end product that meets customer expectations.
What You Will Learn:
Stages in the Automated Testing Process:
For efficient automated testing, a detailed testing approach should be considered prior to application development. The automated testing process consists of two separate processes:
- Developing the application with the automation testing tool in mind
- Performing the testing stages
The flowchart below illustrates the application development process with automation testing:
The following stages describe the process of automated testing:
#1) Analyze whether manual or automated testing should be performed and determine which parts of the application should be automated and which should be manual.
#2) Once the need for automated testing is established, conduct a feasibility analysis.
#3) Select an appropriate tool based on the known components of the J2EE application and the application’s complexity. Choose one or more tools as required for testing.
For example, for a JSP-based application, a screen navigation tool like Selenium Webdriver may suffice. However, for a JSF-based UI application, in addition to JUnit and screen navigation testing tools, specialized JSF tools may be necessary for testing.
#4) Analyze and determine the number of testing stages required. Choose the appropriate tool for each stage if performing unit, integration, functional/system, and regression testing.
#5) Consider the impact of the testing tool on the application’s design. When automating testing, it is important to develop applications with the tool in mind.
#6) Develop a pilot or model application, run the tool, and assess whether the tool provides the anticipated value as estimated during the analysis phase. If the tool performs as expected, it can be finalized for use in the application.
#7) Once the application is ready for testing, write test scripts and execute them using the chosen tool.
Selecting the appropriate automation testing tool for a J2EE application largely depends on the application’s type and the technologies used. Additionally, several other factors affect tool selection:
1) Application type – J2EE applications can take various forms. Some utilize frameworks like Struts, Spring, and Hibernate, others rely solely on server-side technologies like JSP and Servlets, while certain applications encompass the entire development stack, including view components, controllers, business logic, and databases.
Tool selection may vary based on the technologies employed. For information on J2EE component-specific tools, please refer to the next article in this series.
2) Application complexity – Testing complex applications with significant financial implications for a large user base requires detailed testing with appropriate tools. On the other hand, simple applications, such as those displaying reports and data to a few users, can be tested using straightforward open-source tools.
3) Testing type – A tool suitable for unit testing may not be ideal for integration testing, and vice versa. For instance, JUnit is popular for unit testing, while TestNG is commonly used for integration testing.
4) Testing budget – Many popular tools are open-source, making them suitable for most projects. However, when specific technology-related tools are required, the team must consider whether the tool’s cost is acceptable.
5) Testing timeframe – Tight deadlines are common in application development. Certain testing tools may require more time for learning, environment setup, and test case creation compared to others.
6) Environment support – Select J2EE testing tools that are compatible with the application’s target environment. Some tools may only run on certain operating systems or support specific programming languages.
7) Tester’s knowledge – Testers may have experience and familiarity with certain tools. If the project requirements align with the tester’s expertise, selecting that tool can save time on training and onboarding.
9) Test result display and statistics – Test readability plays a crucial role in most projects. Thus, it is important to present test execution results on a properly formatted screen, including defect listings, explanations, and other relevant information.
Advantages of Automated Testing in J2EE Applications
- J2EE applications are typically extensive, and manual testing the entire application can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
- Many J2EE automated testing tools include built-in functionality testing features designed specifically for the respective components. This significantly simplifies the tester’s work. For example, a JSF testing tool like JSFUnit can test framework classes.
- Automated tests are highly efficient. In manual testing, correctness relies on the tester’s skills.
- Repeated changes in projects and the need for repetitive code testing are effectively handled through automated testing.
- Automated testing allows for the execution of a larger number of test cases. As automation is not reliant on human intervention, testing can be conducted at a fast pace, covering a broader range of scenarios within a short duration.
- Automated testing yields more accurate results compared to manual testing, as it minimizes tester dependency. The testing process also becomes consistent.
Automated testing is highly recommended for large J2EE applications. However, it should be noted that complete automation of application testing may not be feasible. Manual and automated testing complement each other. Although initial tool learning and setup may require time, once the process is established, testing becomes more efficient.
In the next article, we will provide a comprehensive list of popular component-wise testing tools and frameworks for J2EE applications.
We welcome your input and any queries related to automation testing.